Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just Sittin' Around, Talkin' About Boys

In some ways, I'll never grow up.

I was "tagged" in a Facebook note-meme this week called "Finish the Sentence". One sentence was particularly interesting.

I'll always.... and I completed it with a daydreamer.

This is not to say that I am a "faraway" girl (i.e. can't focus on something smack dab in front of me because I'm hyper-focused on the clouds out the window or the hangnail on my thumb or something equally obscure). But, I am still the girl who looks in the mirror and wonders what I'm going to be when I grow up. I am still the same girl who imagines one day gracing the stage with my presence once again. I am still the same girl who believes in true love and fairy tales and dreams come true. I am still the same girl who dreams.
That sounds so sweet, doesn't it?

I will never grow up in other ways, too, though.

For instance, I will NEVER quit having girly crushes on handsome men. ...And something tells me I'm not alone in this.

I found myself tonight, as I was in a dreadfully boring inservice working late with some coworkers, talking about stars on whom we have had/currently have crushes. It started innocently enough. Someone had tickets to a concert coming up, this led to discussing othermusicians coming to town, and before I know it - my latest "musical crush" was revealed - Jack Johnson.

I know he's not the ABSOLUTELY MOST handsome man in the world -- but OH. MY. GOSH. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE his music and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE his voice. And, from what I make out (Hee! Hee! I said "make out" about Jack Johnson!) he is definitely cute. AND, he used to be a professional surfer! THAT'S HOT!!!

(Um, HELLO? I used to have pictures of Kelly Slater snipped from Teen magazine pinned to my bedroom wall. Don't get me started about surfers...)

After all, isn't that what a crush is? A silly infatuation for someone based on fluff? Often times, overrated fluff, at that...

Another crush of mine, as mentioned before in my photo mosaic meme, John Cusack. I have "loved" him since Say Anything. Come stand outside my window holding a ridiculously large (I mean, really? Where were iPods then?), antiquated, Peter-Gabriel-cassette-tape-playing boom box ANYDAY, baby.

Why? What is it about him?

I don't know. He's cute.

I could go on and say other, more mature, reasons. He's a talented actor. If you have seen Grace is Gone you would never argue against this point. He's intelligent. Have you seen him speak? He and I are politically like-minded. War, Inc. Yadda yadda yadda... He's cute. All that other stuff is icing on the cake. I also realized, while writing this, I like his voice, too. Perhaps there's something about a man's voice that makes him more attractive to me.

I could go on to name at least half a dozen other adorable men on whom I have crushes. And, yes, Fire Daddy is well aware of them. And, if, for some reason, he isn't, it's not because I have been hiding them from him. I mean, I know he LOVES Alyssa Milano and a few other "hot chicks". But that's not the point.

The point is...I guess I'll never really be too old for crushes and sitting around with girlfriends, giggling and making googly eyes as we drool over "boys" from afar.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Because I'm unmotivated to be reading professional literature right now...

How about a silly meme...


Bueller?.... I go.  Again.

The Flickr Mosaic Meme (a.k.a. "Me" in Photos)

1. Type your answers to each of the following questions into Flickr search.

2. Using only the first page of search results, choose an image.

3.  Using fd's mosaic maker, select the size 3 columns x 4 rows and insert each image's URL address.

...and...Voila!  C'est moi!

1. What is your first name? Jenny
2. What is your favorite food? Cheesecake
3. What high school did you go to? LMHS
4. What is your favorite color? PINK
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Which one?  OK...I'll pick"oldie" (as in length of time I've "crushed" on him) but goodie -- John Cusack.
6. Favorite drink? Margarita.
7. Dream vacation? France
8. Favorite dessert?  Hello?  See above? about another?...Chocolate cake.
9. What you want to be when you grow up? An author? (I didn't like the images for "I don't know".)
10. What do you love most in life? My daughters
11. One Word to describe you. Girly!!
12. Where do you live? Florida

Now that I'm finished...I guess I'd better go get back to my reading.  Darn.  Anyone else have any great memes for me???  I'm not sure I'm quite ready to be finished procrastinating yet...

Flickr Photo Credits:
Thanks, folks!  Your photos are WAY cooler than mine! 

Oh, and thanks to Leigh for the meme! 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Manic Mondays

Treat yourself to a flashback while you read this post...

Am I the only one who feels like Mondays come around way too regularly?  

I can hear my mother in my head now, "Life would be so gaily, if it weren't so daily."  Is that the truth, or what?

I will spare you the whines...  But if you're in the mood for whining, check out this site.  It's rather amusing - in the watching-a-train-wreck sort of way.  Just let it be known that, next week, when I'm not trying to coerce a tempermental toddler (What other kind are there?) and an exhausted kindergartener (and we only have ONE DAY of extra-curricular per week) to cooperate and function on a fixed schedule, all the while managing my own blasted schedule, whacked out hormones, and filled-to-the-rim neurotic head, I will be blissfully enjoying a week of recreation and (relative) relaxation.  

Aaaaaaah...the promise of spring break is so close I can taste it.  

Isn't it amazing, though?  Like many things in life, it seems to get worse before it gets better.  Like suffering through sleepless nights listening to a puppy's high-pitched whine, begging you to allow them into your bed.  As they quieten temporarily, you hopefully close your eyes with a sigh of relief and fatigue...only to throw the lids back open a short minute later as the now ear-piercing whining returns.  

Like potty training a child.  The first day in Big Girl Panties/Big Boy Underwear may surprise you.  You may arrive at the preschool to, amazingly, find them still in the same outfit!  HOORAY!  NO ACCIDENTS!  Not to worry, Mommy Dear, tomorrow will be different...and the next day...and the next.  Better go stock up on changes of clothes because your laundry burden is about to multiply ...exponentially.

Like being pregnant.  In the beginning, you feel like crap - if you're lucky.  Then, nature has this way of teasing you for a while during your second trimester.  It grants you temporary relief from nausea, blesses you with a budding tummy (just enough so people actually know for sure you're pregnant), and fills your bra with bodacious boobs (that's for your hubs).  Until you run into the wall that is your THIRD TRIMESTER.  Ugh.  Your body hurts.  You can't sleep.  Braxton-Hicks contractions control your life.  Your varicose veins are so bad people think your foot is actually broken.  Acid reflux.  Lower back pain.  Even your MATERNITY CLOTHES no longer fit.  And that due date begins to feel more and more like a mirage in the desert.  

So, this week, in my final 4 days before my long anticipated, glorious Spring Break (cue angelic light and trumpeting here) I plan to run myself ragged, wake up early and work late, climb mountains (er...StairMasters?), run a marathon (over the course of the week) and completely deplete myself of energy and the zest for life....because...well...isn't that what I do best???

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Fake'n Bake...and It Helped!

Disclaimer: If you are inclined to lectures, don't read any further.  There are some people who may be prone to be scornful of my behavior (namely: my dermatologist, my mother, Tiffany, and probably more).  With all due respect, save your breath.  I'm puttin' on my Big Girl Panties and puttin' my foot down.  To quote No Doubt, "It's my life".

Spring has arrived, and not a moment too soon.  I am so thankful for the warm sun, the cool breeze, the brilliant blue sky, and the promise of breaks.  Spring break.  Summer vacation.  Real vacation.  Beach time.  Pool time.  Backyard kiddie pools.  Sprinkler play.  

Then, it occurs to me...swimsuit season.  Dear. God. Save. Me.

To Do:
1. Get rockin' bod before spring break.
2. Get tan.  Correction - get "non-reflective".

As you know, I'm working hard at gettin' my groove back.  This leaves getting tan.  

Aaaaaah...'tis the season to fake bake.  

Many years, I treat myself to a few spring sessions in the oven to jumpstart my summery style.  In addition to the cosmetic factor, I revel in an equally enjoyable mental benefit.  Lying atop a plexiglass table beneath the heat of synthetic sunshine, listening to the dull hum of the blue bulbs and roaring fans, I turn off the world around me.  My worries roll back in my head and hide beneath my eyelids (beneath their space goggles).  For a solid fifteen minutes, there are no interruptions.  No distractions.  No fussing.  No working.  No cleaning.  No eating.  (Except when I snag a Jolly Rancher from the bowl at the check-in desk.)  Not even sleep.  It is a meditation, of sorts.  Just breathing and baking.

So, the bottom line is:  I don't do it for the tan entirely.  It's for my sanity...however relative that might be.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Gettin' Groovin'

Recently, I wrote about the bad habits I've discovered in myself once again.  Perhaps it was the reflection, perhaps it was the number staring back at me on the scale, perhaps it was the not so cute "muffin top" sprouting around my waist, or, perhaps it was the humiliation accountability of publishing such habits in a medium as public as the World Wide Web.  Whatever the reason, I've been making a DAILY which is really good for me because I "don't do daily" effort towards getting my groove back.  

What does that mean?

Well, put it this way...did you know you have muscles on the back side of your ribs???  Wow.  Neither did I, until the past few weeks, at which time I've become PAINFULLY aware of their existence.  Thanks to Tracy, my Wii Fit trainer gal.  

Would you believe that home-cooked meals REALLY DO taste better than fast food or restaurant meals?  And did you know that a classic, homemade fast food (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches) costs less and has LESS CALORIES AND FAT (especially when made with reduced fat peanut butter and on light bread) than more modern fast food "healthy" meals (a.k.a. grilled chicken from Chick-Fil-A or Mickey D's)?  Another startling re-discovery around the neuroclassy household recently.

Or, how about this one, did you know that Weight Watchers Online now has a MOBILE site...suitable for Blackberrys!!!  And there's more, there is even a gadget for my iGoogle!!! Woo-hoo!   My prayers have been answered!

Accompanying these recent positive discoveries, unfortunately, some reveals have NOT been quite so happy.  

For instance, when you get to the gym before 4:30 AM, you're tired by the time you get yourself dressed, your kids dressed, everyone shuttled to their respective locations and, finally, settle into your desk for your morning prep time at work at 8:30. 

When the time changes, you can no longer rely on the sun to tell you when to feed your children dinner, give them their baths, or put them to bed because you're completely obsessed with completing your workout routine on the Wii Fit.  ( pose....and then trying it a few times before I done...and then I'm really quitting....I mean it this time.)

Drinking a gallon or more liquid per day in addition to my triple venti skinny vanilla latte and Diet, Caffeine Free, mind you, Coke is resulting in a ridiculous number of quick potty breaks.  I can hardly keep this up - and by this, I'm referring to my pants!

Oh, and, thanks to Tracy, my very professional and devoted Wii Fit gal, getting up and down when I make those quick potty trips is much harder than it used to be.  

But, as we've established before, I guess I'm just shallow enough to make it all worth it.  

And with that, I'd better get back to groovin'.

Author's Note:  Oh, the photo? was TOTALLY ME...back when I was a blonde.    Hardee har har....

Sunday, March 8, 2009

A New Addition

In case you haven't noticed... What? You have A LIFE other than reading my blog???... I've added a "Reader On the Run" corner box. This lovely little bite-sized chunk of neuroses was inspired by my brother Abner. You see, as he so carefully explained to me how much he enjoys reading my blog updates (He lived with me for 17 years or so...he knows how important word choice is.), he also just as carefully explained the disappointment that accompanies the realization that he doesn't always have time to read a complete post. After a discussion of how best to meet my reader's needs, the idea for this handy-dandy little corner was born.

Here's what I wrote to explain it that night:

I totally respect the fact that you are a busy gal/guy and don't always have time to stay for my entire neurotic shpeal. (How do you spell that word, by the way? I have no Yiddish Schema. I didn't learn the word "tchotchke" until I worked for a Jewish accountant a few years ago.) Anyhow, when you're on the run -- check out my new corner. Oh, and thank you, Abner, for the inspiration. Always with your finger on the pulse of the masses.....

So, with busy readers in mind today, I'll end this post here. Be sure to check back, though, to have a nibble of my random thinkings. I hope you'll enjoy them.

Disclaimer: I told you I'm not very good at "daily" things. So just keep in mind that this is AN EXPERIMENT. Don't hate me if it fails miserably, OK? Thanks!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Bad Habits

I have GOT to do something about my bad habits!

For one, I've developed a very bad habit of NOT waking up in the morning. Well, I guess technically I do EVENTUALLY wake up...but not until an hour to two hours after my I.W.T. (Intended Waking Time). I used to be good at this. Just a few short years ago, I was heading out the door to the gym by 4:15 AM every morning Fire Daddy was on the premises. Yes, you read that correctly. FOUR. A. M.

Now, I faithfully set my alarm - correction, alarmS (I set my clock and the Pink Lady each night) - for four, 4:15, 4:30...and repeatedly press snooze on both alarms until nearly 6:00 AM (sometimes later). This, as you can imagine, does not delight Fire Daddy. In fact, I'm beginning to suspect he might be a bit annoyed with this recent change in my morning routine.

Another bad habit I really MUST do something about involves candy. A lot of candy. Have you ever noticed how addicting those cute little bite-sized candies, like M&Ms and Skittles, are? Oh. My. Gosh. I can eat WAAAAY more of those each day than I care to admit.

I partially blame my work environment. I am a teacher. Schools -- elementary schools -- have more candy than Carter's has pills! I am surrounded by it! Wherever I go, there it is, ready for me to snag another bite, another handful, another Fun Size bag. Perhaps it's my coworker's cutie-patootie little bubble gum machine candy jar, or the bottomless bowl of sugary sweets in the mail room, or the permanent jar of M&Ms that resides on that desk I walk past fifty times per day in the office, or my own candy basket in my own classroom. And it doesn't stop when I leave school for a meeting or inservice. Little chocolate fairies seem to sprinkle tiny treats everywhere I go.

I MUST remember how to say NO. I am no longer 16. (Oh my goodness, I'm almost twice that.) My high school days of sitting in television production class after Second Lunch, surrounded by a flock of boys, as I popped my Skittles (sorted, first, by color) one by one - are gone. No longer can I be "The Skittle Queen", as they so lovingly dubbed me. I must rely on something other than sugar to get me through my afternoons without a bad case of The Slumps or The Grumps. (Those sweet boys were so thoughtful. They quickly learned to recognize the symptoms and never failed to send a runner for that all important red bag on days I was without. ...I wonder what happened to them. Maybe I can find them on Facebook....but that's another post.)

Finally, I know you might be shocked to hear this, but I seem to have developed a rather crippling addiction to caffeine as of late. One day last week, I realized just before dinner that every beverage I had consumed that day contained caffeine. I mean every last one of them. I began my day with a triple venti skinny vanilla latte from some cute little coffee joint I frequent. I chased that latte with a series of Diet Cokes from my office mini-fridge. As I finally found myself choosing a drink to accompany my evening meal (probably something terribly healthy, by the way), I was at a loss. I was ashamed as I reflected on my day's liquid intake.

Consequently, I made a decision to REDUCE (no cold turkey for me) my caffeine intake to one beverage per day. (Note: A triple latte is still, technically, one beverage. It is served in one cup.) I am thankful for my Caffeine Drinkers Anonymous support network on twitter. They encouraged me to stick with it through the headaches, use Excederin as a crutch, and they, inevitably, overlooked my falling off the wagon on Day 3. And Day 5.

In short, I am severely lacking in the Self Discipline Department lately. I really must do something about this.

I'll start tomorrow. Better go set my alarms.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me

OK. It's not really my birthday.

You know how, when you're a kid, you track how close you are to your next birthday in fractions? I'm 5 AND A HALF. I'm 6 AND THREE QUARTERS. I'm ALMOST 10 (in two months).

Recently, I referred to my two darling daughters as 5 1/2 and 2 1/2. My husband corrected me, saying they were basically 6 and 3.

This did not make me happy. For numerous reasons.

1.) They are, if we must be accurate, 2 and 9.5 months and 5 and 9 months. They are NOT 6 and 3. I do not like to think of them aging any faster than necessary, thank you very much. As Big Girl knows all too well, they will be my babies forever -- even when they are grown women.

2. If their birthdays are coming up, then so is his......and mine. This isn't a big deal. Really. I'm quite comfortable with being thirty-one. Thirty-two, on the other hand, is not sounding nearly as comfie.

I remember my mother telling me of an age that really bothered her mentally. I think it was 25 or something completely ANCIENT like that. I thought I was past this after I nearly choked on 29. I'll never forget sitting in a booth at the Cheesecake Factory with my parents and Fire Daddy as Big Girl crawled all over my huge pregnant belly. I'll never forget thinking, "I'm going to be 29 and married with two kids. What happened to my life? Where has my youth gone???"

But, as Mother Dearest has always said, "What doesn't kill us, makes us stronger." I emerged on the other side of 29 a stronger, more confident woman. In fact, I rather like being thirty-one. I like being a "thirty-something". I've safely established myself as an adult -- out of the "pretend adult" years of your twenties. Yet, I'm still youthful and able to keep up relatively with the Spring Chicks. Except for weeknights. And I need a lot of notice so I can check the calendar and arrange for a babysitter. And I don't really like bars. I'd much prefer a restaurant, thanks.

Now, as soon as I find myself wearing my age proudly, my darling husband tells me it's time to move on? Um, that really doesn't work for me. Sorry. I'm not ready.

Thirty-one and I have so much more to do together. We need more time. I need to savor this while it lasts. I love it when people say, "You have two kids???" or "You've been teaching for 10 years? You look like you're right out of college!" OK. I know they're lying, or at least exaggerating...but I don't mind at all! I'm not Annie Lennox. (Crap. Did I just age myself?)

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing really WRONG with 32...except that it's not 31.

I just don't know if I'm ready for such a drastic change. It's all moving so fast. I mean, shouldn't we start with coffee? Maybe a lunch date? Perhaps if we just slow things down, get to know each other a little bit better first?

I guess I do still have four months and ten days to get ready for the big day.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

F is for Funk, Not Funny

Dear Readers,

We need to talk. duh, duh, duuuuuuuunnnnnnn.....

For today, I seem to be fresh out of funny. However, I think I need to spit this out - so here goes.

I don't like filler posts. I don't want to post something just to say I've updated my blog -- just to see that "Last published" date advance. That is not the purpose of my blog, nor your purpose for reading. "Neurotic, Yet Classy" is not just something else on my "to do" list. Believe me. Mine, like yours, fills up all too quickly without any help from this blog. But, pretend I didn't just type that because I'm making a conscious effort not to talk about being busy all the time -- because, who isn't, right?

This week, I've started and abandoned 3 separate posts, realizing they were quickly becoming nothing short of crapola. I think they all, in theory, are good ideas, but their execution was just that -- a gruesome sight. I will not share the topics with you at this moment because, with some distance and reworking, they may one day actually be completed and published and I would hate to spoil the surprises. So, for today -- they stink and they're stayin' put in my "drafts" box.

What's wrong, you ask? How kind of you to care. This is why I love you all.

Well, I think I may have accidentally hit my Serious Bone. All the thoughts I seem to be dwelling on are too serious to post here. When my fingers begin caressing these reliable keys, the words just come out...boring serious. And, somehow, I doubt that you care to read those ramblings. Hence, my multiple blogs.

So, if you are a hard core fan and just can't get enough of me (for instance, my Mother Dearest) -- I'm adding some new links on the sidebar. These links will connect you to the rest of my publications. Feel free to add them to your reader or bookmarks -- or not. I'm all thoughtful and caring like that, you know. It's all about you, Babe(s).

In the meantime, know that I love you all and care about your needs. If I seem distant, it is only for your own good. In short, it's not you -- it's me. :)

Most Appreciatively,


PS: This was NOT a filler post. This was something I had to do in order to move forward. I know. I'm neurotic. But, didn't I establish that in the title?

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